Learn a new word every week
noun (plural conundrums)
a confusing and difficult problem or question: one of the most difficult conundrums for the experts.
• a question asked for amusement, typically one with a pun in its answer; a riddle.
1 the conundrums facing policy-makers: PROBLEM, difficult question, difficulty, quandary, dilemma; informal poser.
2 Rod enjoyed conundrums and crosswords: RIDDLE, puzzle, word game; informal brainteaser.
late 16th century: of unknown origin, but first recorded in a work by Thomas Nashe, as a term of abuse for a crank or pedant, later coming to denote a whim or fancy, also a pun. Current senses date from the late 17th century.
Last week's word
bling (also bling-bling) /blɪŋ/ informal
expensive, ostentatious clothing and jewelry, or the wearing of them: behind the bling: are diamonds worth it?
denoting expensive, ostentatious clothing or jewelry that can be considered bad taste, or the style or materialistic attitudes associated with them: the bling lifestyle of diamond rings, flashy cars, and champagne.
ORIGIN AND MASS USAGE
In linguistics terms, bling is either an ideophone or an onomatopoeia, depending on the definition adhered to. The term is intended to evoke the "sound" of light hitting something shiny, especially valuables like silver, platinum, or diamonds. The form bling-bling is a case of reduplication.
While the specific term bling was first popularized in the hip hop community, it has spread beyond hip hop culture and into mass culture after the original Hot Boyz chart-topper "Bling-bling" became popular. This is similar to the meteoric rise of hip hop music itself, which has led to its most popular artists becoming mainstream pop music icons. "Bling" was added to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary in 2002 and to the Merriam Webster dictionary in 2006. Companies such as Sprint and Cadillac have used the word bling in their advertisements.